Mr. Speaker, I would also like to speak in support of Bill C-300 and commend the hon. member for Saanich-Gulf Islands for bringing it forward. I hope that, as has been suggested, it will pass second reading possibly without a vote, if we can all agree to send it off to committee in a spirit of unanimity, to be studied there and possibly improved.
However, to echo some of the concerns I have heard expressed, I hope this is not a means by which the government, or at least some members on the government side, hope to bury it in committee. I hope it is a genuine desire to see the bill improved to address some of its alleged imperfections and have it come back to the House and passed so that indeed we can as a Parliament express through the establishment of this medal the fact that as a Parliament and as a country we appreciate and want to recognize Canadians who have served in Canadian peacekeeping operations and perhaps in other operations which are perceived in the same way but which may not be technically peacekeeping or technically UN peacekeeping.
I hope we can do this quickly because we do not want to see a situation that other veterans have found themselves in. It was not so long ago, at the beginning of this Parliament, that I had a private members' motion, not a bill, calling for the awarding of a medal that would recognize the service of veterans of the Dieppe raid, who for a variety of reasons did not receive the medal other veterans received for serving in World War II. They waited for over 50 years for this kind of recognition. It eventually came as a result of my private members' motion. It was not exactly what the motion called for but it was a form of recognition.
It may indeed be the case that a similar thing will happen here where the outcome will not be exactly what the hon. member for Saanich-Gulf Islands has in mind. However, hopefully it will be close enough or perhaps even improved in such a way that we will all be satisfied with the result.
I commend the member and express my support and I am sure the support of my colleagues in the NDP caucus. We look forward to seeing this matter expeditiously dealt with.